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The spotlight falls on Spain as West Brom seek next manager abroad

| 24.12.2013

The biggest clue yet as to the identity of the manager who replace ousted West Brom boss Steve Clarke has emerged, with a national newspaper suggesting the club’s chairman has his heart set on someone working outside of the UK.

With the upper reaches of the next permanent West Brom manager betting hardly bedecked with those playing their trade beyond the British Isles it’s a sizeable pointer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may top the pile at 11/8, but the Wolverhampton Express and Star understands the Molde manager hasn’t so much as made the shortlist.

The Norwegian and former Schalke boss Ralf Ragnick are among two of just four candidates inside the first 27 in the betting that currently ply their trade abroad.

Ragnick was overlooked in favour of Clarke when last the Hawthorns club were hiring so it’s safe to assume that, if the market is any guide, Peace’s flight was to Spain.

That would go some way to explaining the sudden rise to prominence of Pepe Mel, recently sacked by Real Betis and now 3/1 second-favourite.

The former Rayo Vallecano gaffer was somewhat cruelly disposed of by the Seville-based side having guided them first to promotion from the Segunda, then to a Europa League spot.

Aside from the 50-year-old Mel, the only other foreign-based candidate shorter than 40/1 is the Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement, like Ragnick a 10/1 shot.

Brother of the former Baggies skipper Neil Clement earned the confidence of no lesser judge than Carlo Ancelotti having been retained when the Italian arrived at Chelsea.

When the decorated boss left Stamford Bridge he sent for the Englishman to join him at PSG and the 41-year-old now works with his mentor at Real Madrid.

Peace’s intention, according to the Mail, is to appoint a coach in the Roy Hodgson mould, an archetype that in his way Clement does embody.

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